Do you know who you really are? How do you define yourself? What is the essence of you? Most people define their existence by a title. They are a cop, a teacher, a housewife, a truck driver, a scientist, or some other titled walk in life. The title defines them and sets their station in life.
I can remember years ago when I resigned as the Executive Director of a Chamber of Commerce. It was a difficult time, a time when I was just coming back to the Lord after several years of sliding back into the world system and sin. Marilyn, my wife, asked me a simple question, “Who are you?” At that time in my life I could not tell her, because I did not know.
I had, like most of us, fallen into a subtle snare of the devil that led me to define my life and existence by titles. If I were no longer the Executive Director, then…who was I?
Marilyn kept asking me to tell her who I was. You see, she really needed to know, so she could stand next to me in love and marriage…. But I didn’t know…because I had lost myself in the maze of titles and expectations of others.
My problem was in how I defined myself. As a Christian, I now know that I am to define myself in relationship, not in titles. Once I saw the truth, it set me free. The title is just a job. But the relationship lives on, growing with every encounter. It’s safe from downsizing, economic shortfalls, management changes and other worldly expectations.
We, as children of the living God, are to define ourselves by the relationship we have with Him. Think about that for a moment. Most of us lose ourselves because we do not have a close walk with Jesus. Without His voice and presence, we are lost, only to wander in the maze of titles. He even said, “My sheep hear my voice”, yet some would criticize, saying that we are off our rocker because we believe we are hearing from God.
When we define our existence by the quality of the relationship we have with Jesus, we realize our true identity and destiny. We discover His love, His mercy, His faithfulness, and His plan for our well-being. Remember what the scriptures say…that we are to be conformed to His image and likeness. (Romans 8: 28-30) Only a relationship with Him can produce that. It isn’t found in a title or in book learning. It’s in a walk with the Lord.
The Term “Christian”
The term “Christian” was first coined in Antioch, were they called the 1st believers Christian, because they were seen as little Jesus’. Their relationship with Christ produced the same spirit that was in Jesus. Paul explains this to us in Galatians, chapter five, where he discusses the fruit of the Spirit…Love, Peace, Joy, longsuffering, etc. “If that same Spirit that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He shall quicken your mortal flesh and make it alive”.
We must learn to walk through the titles and allow the Lord to energize us for true ministry. It doesn’t matter if we are a housewife, a teacher, a cop or any other profession. What really matters is that we are experiencing a close relationship with the Lord. It’s the only way to know that we are loved and accepted. That’s what life is all about. We are quickened or made alive to God in this flesh, through Jesus.
What title is holding you captive? How do you define your existence?
If you are made alive in relationship to God, by the quickening of your spirit, your life will reflect it and no title can ever define your purpose for living. Only God and His never-ending love can ultimately define our existence and shape our destiny. Remember, we are made in His image with the capacity to fellowship with Him and communicate all of what we hear and see as we walk with Him in this life. That’s the essence of who we really are.
Until Next Time
Rev John Marinelli